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hazelnut

 

Synonyms: filbert, cobnut

botanical name: Corylus avellana


Haselnuss

 

Hazelnuts have long existed as wild fruits from Europe to Asia Minor. In addition, hazelnut bushes are frequently planted in gardens for privacy.

Hazelnuts are cultivated commercially in the Mediterranean countries, the USA, Iran and China. The main area of cultivation is Turkey.


Availability


Hazelnuts are harvested from August to October, depending on the area of cultivation and the variety. They are available shelled throughout the year. Unshelled, they are popular during the Christmas season.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


Like the chestnut, the hazelnut belongs botanically to the "true" nuts. They grow on bushes that may reach 7 m. Hazelnuts have a hard, brown woody shell and are about 2 cm in size. The shell is often striated or longitudinally furrowed (sulcated).

Within the shell lies the edible kernel. It is covered with a brownish skin and is white inside.

Hazelnuts have a firm meat and the typical, difficult to describe hazelnut aroma. A distinction is made between the round Zeller nuts and the oval Lambert nuts. Moreover there are numerous mixed shapes that are more characteristic of the one or the other variety. Hazelnut varieties are frequently named after well-known areas of cultivation and commercial centres.


Ingredients


Hazelnuts are rich in fibre. They have a high content of vitamin E, but also of vitamins B1 and B6, niacin, calcium and magnesium.

Furthermore, they are rich in vegetable (non-heme) iron; however, this is not as well absorbed by the body as is heme iron from animal tissue. If you combine hazelnuts with foods rich in vitamin C you will increase the absorption of the iron.

100 g contain:

Hazelnut kernels
Energy (kcal)
6366
Water (g)
5
Protein (g)
12
Fat (g)
62
Carbohydrates (g) (g)
11
Fibre (g)
8
Vitamin A (RE) (µg)
5
Vitamin E (mg)
26
Vitamin B1 (mg)
0,4
Niacin (mg)
4
Vitamin B6 (mg)
0,3
Folic acid (µg)
71
Vitamin C (mg)
3
Potassium (mg)
635
Sodium (mg)
2
Calcium (mg)
225
Magnesium (mg)
155
Iron (mg)
3,8
Saturated fatty acids
4,5
Monounsaturated fatty acids (g)
47,8
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)
6,5



Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


Unshelled nuts can be kept for about a year in a dry place at room temperature. They can be stored even longer if they are cooled.

Shelled hazelnuts can easily become rancid if they are stored too warm. Therefore, store them cool and dry, in which case they will keep for several weeks. For packaged goods the best-before date is what counts.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Hazelnuts are sold predominantly shelled and packaged; unshelled nuts are of minimal importance and are in demand only at Christmas. The kernels are sold whole, ground and grated.

They are good for nibbling between meals and as a crispy addition to mueslis and fruit salads. Hazelnuts are also a popular ingredient in cakes, biscuits / cookies and bread.

However, the major part of the hazelnut harvest goes into the food industry and is used for confectionery and baked goods. Just think of nut chocolate and chocolate truffles and pralines, nougat or spreads that contain nougat, puddings, hazelnut ice cream, cakes, macaroons or other types of biscuits.

A small portion of the hazelnuts harvested are used to produce edible oil. This can be used as a salad oil but is mostly processed in the food industry.

 

 

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